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TONY Mowbray says he'll come up with a game plan to keep Fleetwood dangerman Shola Ameobi quiet on Saturday. The Sky Blues boss is a big admirer of the veteran target man but revealed he's never been in a position to bid for him.

"Ameobi has assets that can hurt any team, and hurt teams in the Premier League," said Mowbray, of the former Newcastle United forward who has recently been signed up by Steven Pressley to help steer the Cod Army away from the relegation places.

"He's a six-foot three/four huge physical specimen who has a fantastic personality and a team player and at any moment in any game he can score a goal. We will have to be aware of his physical prowess in the box and try to keep him away from our box as much as we can.

"Can we dominate the ball to restrict their opportunities to put it into our box; can we screen in front so he doesn't get it to his feet? You have game plans you work on day-in, day-out but I'd have to say Ameobi isn't their only player.

"They've got Jimmy Ryan who is a very, very talented player as is Antoni Sarcevic; young Ashley Hunter is a very gifted technical footballer; Bobby Grant comes in off the right wing on his left foot and whips balls in.

"They've got a good team - it's not just Shola Ameobi we have to worry about. I think Steven's done very well and put a very talented team together."

Asked if he's ever tried to sign the front man, he said: "I'd have to say he's always been out of my price structure. I know his advisors exceptionally well so I am always aware of his situation and I know we certainly couldn't afford Shola Ameobi at this moment in time.

"He's a type of footballer and I generally like fast, mobile strikers if I can get them. Shola is more of a target player who plays down the middle and brings other people into the game, as we have with Darius Henderson.

"But I don't think Shola would be happy with the conversation I had with Darius about him playing the last 20 minutes or half an hour of football matches if we need it and if we don't you'll have to sit on the bench. I think Shola would demand more of a starting position."

LAST MEETING SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015 FLEETWOOD................0 COVENTRY.............. 1 Richard Wood (og 90) FLEETWOOD: C Maxwell, A Bell, D Teixeira, R Wood, J Davis, V Nirennold (E Jonsson, 50), A Sarcevic, N Haughton (R Grant, 58), A Hunter (D Ball, 66), J Proctor. Substitutes not used: A Gogic (goalkeeper), J Sowerby, S Jordan, J Matt . COVENTRY: R Charles-Cook, C Stokes, R Johnson, A Martin, S Ricketts, R Vincelot, J Murphy (C Thomas, 89), J Fleck, J O'Brien (M Tudgay, 83), R Lameiras (G Thomas, 78), M Fortune. Substitutes not used: L Burge (goalkeeper), B Morris, A Phillips, A Jackson.

Attendance: 3,864. Overall: Coventry 2, Fleetwood 0, draws 1.

THE REFEREE ANDY DAVIES (Hampshire) Mixed messages here. Mr Davies was in charge when Steven Pressley's Sky Blues won 2-1 at Crewe in March 2014, Callum Wilson's double sandwiching a Jordan Clarke own-goal to secure the three points. That proved to be City's last win of the campaign as they logged three draws and four defeats from their remaining seven assignments but the referee didn't exactly get a warm send-off from the travelling fans after dishing out seven yellow cards to the Sky Blues while deciding that not one home player had overstepped the line. On the plus side, he's only handled one Fleetwood game since they stepped up to the League and that was a 3-1 home defeat against Chesterfield in April 2013.


| Shola Ameobi makes life hard for Richard Duffy in a 2005 FA Cup tie between Newcastle and Coventry.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 26, 2016
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